On Slate this week, critic Fred Kaplan includes the L.A.-based reissue label Music Matters Jazz in its 'Best of 2011' year-end list. Every month since 2007, MMJ's co-owners Ron Rambach and Joe Harley (along with master Masterers Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman) have been releasing two lovingly restored, spine-hinged, 180g virgin vinyl 45rpm LPs from the classic catalogue of Blue Note Records -- which "tend to sound better than the original pressings!" adds Kaplan. They eventually will release 64 different titles through 2012 when all's said and done. Granted, $50 in the current economy for a 50-year-old jazz record ain't nothing to sneeze at, but if you know a jazz audiophile-slash-music-snerd who would rather buy music than food or clothing or grooming devices, odds are s/he will be indebted to you forever.
Chris Barton, our friend at the L.A. Times, also has posted his Year In Review: Best in Jazz list. In turn, our pal Greg Burk gives some of his picks on MetalJazz. If the scattin' and the soloin' and the skipitty-bippity-bop don't satisfy, the L.A Weekly has just posted their Top 10 L.A. Rock/Rap, etc. Albums of 2011 list and former Weekly music editor John Payne has posted his refreshingly uncategorizable Bluefat Aesthetic 2011 List. Happy shopping, you all.